ATLANTA — Robert Gsellman is trying to impress manager Terry Collins and the Mets front office and earn a rotation spot for 2018.
"Just trying to finish strong for these guys so we can have some good momentum heading into next spring," he said. "Just trying to keep it rolling."
Gsellman didn’t allow an earned run over seven innings, pinch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run homer and New York beat the Atlanta Braves 5-1 on Sunday.
Atlanta (67-81) was eliminated from post-season contention and must win its remaining 14 games to avoid a losing record in four straight seasons for the first time since it had seven in a row from 1984-90.
Gsellman (7-7) scattered three hits and struck out three for his best outing since June 10, when he pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings to beat Atlanta. It marked the third time this year and first since May 29 that he lasted seven innings.
Julio Teheran (11-12), who had won his previous four starts, allowed two runs, three hits and four walks in six innings. He became the first Braves pitcher since Greg Maddux from 1996-2003 to make 30 starts in five consecutive seasons.
"Even though I got the loss, I thought I did pretty good," Teheran said.
Despite winning the last two games of the series, the Mets have lost 14 of their last 20 road games.
New York took a 2-0 lead in the first when Jose Reyes hit an RBI triple and scored on Amed Rosario’s groundout. Phil Evans, who made his major league debut Sept. 8, hit a run-scoring double in the ninth for his first big league RBI, and Cabrera followed with his 13th homer .
Rosario made a pair of errors in the seventh. He bobbled and dropped Johan Camargo’s one-out grounder to shortstop when pulling the ball out of his glove, then three pitches later let Dansby Swanson’s potential double-play ground bounce under his glove. Jace Peterson followed with an RBI grounder to second, and Kurt Suzuki popped out.
"I thought I worked well out of it," Gsellman said. "I tried to pick up Rosario. We all make mistakes."
Norichika Aoki had three hits, including a triple, and has reached safely in 18 straight games dating to Aug. 20. Reyes is hitting .341 with 14 RBIs and 22 runs scored over his last 21 games since Aug. 13. His triple gave him 470 extra-base hits with the Mets, surpassing Darryl Strawberry for the No. 2 spot in franchise history.
Mets closer A.J. Ramos had a shaky outing in a non-save situation for the second straight day, allowing a hit and a walk before Suzuki’s game-ending grounder.
Teheran fell to his rear after catching Juan Lagares’ hard liner to end the sixth after snagging a drive toward his face . He pointed to the sky and walked slowly to the dugout. Teheran was lifted for reliever Sam Freeman to begin the seventh.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard still doesn’t know whether he will pitch again for the Mets this season. The 2016 All-Star has been sidelined since tearing a lat muscle in April, and the team had hoped he could pitch this weekend. But after a medical examination on Saturday, Syndergaard was told that he will pitch in a simulated game before the team decides whether he will face Washington this weekend at Citi Field.
Braves: LF Matt Kemp missed his second straight game with recurring hamstring soreness. Kemp will be reevaluated Tuesday. He is hitting .184 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 13 games this month.
Mets: RHP Matt Harvey (5-5, 6.14 ERA) starts Monday at Miami. He has lost two of three starts this month with a 12.19 ERA and 20 hits allowed.
Braves: RHP Luis Gohara (1-1, 6.30 ERA) is to make his third big league start Tuesday at home against the Nationals. He won at 8-2 last Wednesday at Washington.